Bodybuilder in court for gay blackmail sex scam
A Melbourne male bodybuilder who posed as a woman and blackmailed men with threats of exposure on gay websites to finance his protein powder habit has faced court.
Posing as a ‘sexually available’ young woman on internet video chat sites, Shawn Rye, 23, lured men from Australia, Britain, the USA and Canada, into performing sexual acts which he recorded and threatened to post to gay websites unless they paid him between $100 and $500.
At a County Court hearing in Melbourne on Thursday, September 13, Rye (pictured) pleaded guilty to 47 counts of blackmail over a six-month period last year.
Prosecutor Julian Ayers told the court Rye demanded more than $12,000 from his victims.
Ayers said Rye posed as “a young and sexually available woman” named Sam or Melissa and would then play a pre-recorded video of a young woman and urge the men to strip and masturbate promising ‘she’ would then strip naked.
Rye recorded the men, played it back to them and demand money or he would release the recording to family and friends via Facebook and other websites.
“If you go offline, or don’t co-operate, I will upload the video of you …to a gay website,” Ayers said he told them.
Rye would also text names of their family or friends obtained from Facebook and threaten to show one person per day until they agreed to pay.
Ayers said payments were made to Rye, using his real name, through a Western Union money transfer.
Bank records revealed Rye had obtained over $7800 from some of his victims.
Rye had about $20,000 of debt.
Defending Rye, David Barrese said some of the money was used to pay for protein powders costing $300 a week.
He said although Rye had “overstepped the mark” he was “only asking for relatively conservative amounts” and “could have asked for more.”
“He knew it was wrong. It wasn’t intended to hurt anyone,” he said.
Rye will be sentenced at a later date.